Blade Nzimande
Blade Nzimande

SACP welcomes 3-week lockdown to combat coronavirus

By BALDWIN NDABA Time of article published Mar 23, 2020

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Pretoria - SACP boss Blade Nzimande has endorsed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new measures to curb further spread of the coronavirus through the imposition of a lockdown and the deployment of the army to ensure that residents comply with the stipulations.

Nzimande, the SACP secretary-general, expressed his views moments after Ramaphosa’s outlined his plans including relief measures for small businesses in a form aid to survive the ordeal.

Earlier, the SACP top brass held a meeting in Ekurhuleni in which they urged the private health care sector to not place profit before human life by demanding payments. 

“The private health care sector should participate in the national effort on humanitarian grounds and accordingly form part of Covid-19 tracking efforts, make available facilities, test suspected cases and treat those affected,” Nzimande said.

He said it was clear that the private health care sector is allegedly aloof from health care as a constitutional right of every person, rather than a commodity destined for profit sale.

“It is extremely cruel and immoral to place profits above human lives given the global public health emergency and state of national disaster caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Under a successfully introduced National Health Insurance (NHI), health care will be available to all regardless of their ability to pay. The state of national disaster caused by the global public health emergency and spread of Covid-19 calls for implementation of the key NHI principles right now!,” Nzimande said.  

He said in order to win the war against the Covid-19 pandemic and protect the majority of our people, the SACP was, therefore, calling upon the government to assert decisive public control of private hospitals and other private health care facilities as required by the circumstances.

“The private hospital sector has over 40 000 beds, a number of which are critical and intensive care unit beds. These facilities, in this time of war against the deadly disease, cannot be reserved for the paying patients, but should be available to all people who are affected and need treatment for Covid-19.

“Private health care providers must provide Covid-19 health care without demanding payment. All healthcare facilities and capacity in the republic is essential now and going forward in the face of the global public health emergency of Covid-19 and as a result of the declaration of the national state of disaster,” Nzimande said. 

He said South Africa was going to face a situation of limited public health care capacity if the Covid-19 cases continue to rise saying the country should not wait until that happens.

“All facilities and actions needed to contain and stop the spread of the pandemic should respectively be publicly available and implemented right now, rather than, belatedly, when the situation is out of control,” Nzimande said.

Political Bureau

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